It’s no secret that the Beatles had a close relationship, yet it turns out that John Lennon and George Harrison were sometimes harsh with Paul McCartney. In a recent interview with Uncut, famous drummer Jim Keltner revealed some insights into the group’s complicated relationships. Keltner, who has worked with some of the biggest names in music, was no stranger to the Fab Four. His ties to the former Beatles are strong, having collaborated on projects with John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Keltner has even filled in for Starr on a few occasions, so he’s spent plenty of time with the Liverpool boys.
During his conversation with Uncut, Keltner reflected on the interplay between Lennon, Harrison, and McCartney. He added that both John and George were capable of being really harsh on Paul, but they made it obvious that they didn’t want anyone else joining in. It was a brothers-only situation in their perspective, where they could taunt one other brutally but an outsider couldn’t. The drummer’s revelation concerning the inner workings of the Beatles: “Sometimes I feel like I’m making him [George Harrison] out to be a saint.” The man was far from a saint! They could both be cruel with Paul over the years with him and John. I quickly realized that I couldn’t join them.
‘We can say that, but you shouldn’t,’ they both stated on different occasions. They were true brothers who enjoyed making fun of each other, but they didn’t want anyone else to do it.” Keltner’s views imply that, while Lennon and Harrison occasionally made disparaging remarks about McCartney, they also had a genuine regard and respect for him. Their relationship is comparable to that of siblings, who may be open with each other while remaining supportive and protective of one another. This dynamic allowed them to have fun while still keeping boundaries for others outside the group.